• Studies of sociology, law, and philosophy at Bielefeld University and Freie Universität Berlin (FU Berlin). Diploma in sociology from FU Berlin.
• 1984–1997 Assistant Lecturer, Research Associate and Assistant Professor at the Institute of Sociology at FU Berlin.
• 1990 Doctorate (Dr. phil.) at FU Berlin.
• 1996 Habilitation (venia legendi) in sociology at the Department of Philosophy and Social Sciences at FU Berlin.
• 1997–2000 Professor of Sociology and Empirical Social Research at the University of Siegen.
• 2000–2001 Professor of Sociology at the University of Wuppertal.
• 2001–2007 Professor of Sociology at Justus Liebig University Giessen.
• 2007–2011 Professor of Sociology at the University of Vienna (Austria).
• 2011–2016 Professor of Sociology at Goethe University Frankfurt.
• 2016–present, Professor of Sociology at Universität Hamburg.
From 2000 to 2017 member of the Council of the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research. Visiting professorships and fellowships at Duke University (USA), the Center for Interdisciplinary Research at Bielefeld University, the Research Group on Post-Growth Societies at Friedrich Schiller University Jena, the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) Vienna, Macquarie University Sydney, Seoul National University, University of Crete, University of Silesia Katowice, the University of Zurich and the University of Tokyo.